Whether you're a parent ready for kids to go back to school or a student wishing that day would never arrive, chances are you're starting to think about what you may need before heading to the bus stop the first day in September.
Over half of back-to-school shoppers start now, according to the National Retail Foundation, and the average family is expected to spends $688 on clothing, accessories and electronics.
Local retailers are preparing to capture some of those sales by stocking merchandise and offering incentives to bring shoppers back from the beach. Though some business owners said they see a jump this time of year, the surge in end-of-summer sales is not as high as it used to be.
"Most schools do shopping days at their school store, or order packaged supplies through their PTAs," said Matty Fruchtman, a pharmacist at the in Bedford Village. "We do more of a replacement business throughout the year for when students run out of that initial supply."
However, the store now has a full supply of the basics for those shoppers who missed out on school orders—plus, they've stocked some unusual items that might draw customers looking for the new or trendy accessories.
"Our 'Locker Lookz' locker decorating kits are doing really well with pre-teen and teenaged girls," said Fruchtman. Products like locker wallpaper, organizing bins and even mini-chandeliers can be purchased a-la-carte to dress up lockers.
is hosting a 20 percent sale off all school supplies—and owner Ann Luria said she is fully stocked.
Beyond the basics—folders, three-ring binders, pens, pencils, math tool sets and markers, among other staples—Steger's has fun accessories like Slap Bracelets, and Shoulder Buddies, which she said were trendy among grade schoolers last year and continue to be popular, and stretchable, washable book covers to keep textbooks in good shape all year long.
on Route 117 is offering a $10 "back to school savings pass" which shoppers can use once per day through Sept. 15 on supplies except technology. But students heading off to college can bring in a copy of their acceptance letter and receive a $100 Visa prepaid card via EasyRebate toward the purchase of selected laptops, according to a press release.
Though New York is not one of the states holding a back-to-school "tax holiday," this year, officials raised the ceiling—to $110, up from $55—on the state for items of clothing and footwear.
Have you started your back-to-school shopping? Are you spending more or less this school season? Do you think $688 is a reasonable amount of money to spend for back-to-school shopping?